Why Norwich war veterans need your help to raise new standard

A group of former servicemen are looking to raise �2,000 to remember those who have fought for their country in conflicts all over the world.

The Norfolk and Norwich Combined Ex-Services Association is looking to raise funds to buy a standard, which will be taken on parades and used as a mark of respect,

The standard is used to remember the people who served for their country and to mark 'what they've done in the past', said Brian Wilson, 74, the chairman of the ex-services group.

The ex-servicemen are raising awareness and funds to remember comrades who have risked their lives and to retain the pride in their legacy. Part of the money they hope to raise will be used to fund an exhibition at the Forum during Armed Forces Week.

Armed Forces Week will get under way outside City Hall on June 25, where a civic procession will take place with standards and special flags.

Eric Fox, 76, from Earlham Grove in Earlham, who is the secretary and treasurer for the group, said: 'We are so proud of what we do. Lots of other groups have standards, so we feel that getting one will let people know who we are and allow us to feel proud when we march.'

He added: 'Calling the standard a flag can upset some people. It's not a flag because we carry it on parade. The standard was a key point in battle, as a rallying point for soldiers.''

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Mr Fox said: 'If the standard fell or was lost, the battle would be lost. So today it means a lot to us, it's a part of our heritage,'

June 6, D-Day, is of great focus for the Norwich-based group as it wants to have its standard ready in time for the commemorations.

Preliminary designs for the standard have been sketched out, with the total cost expected to be about �800. The group's members are looking for donations and sponsorship to raise money towards the standard, as well as the other work they do for war veterans.

Mr Fox said: 'Any money, even if it's a few pounds, will help us.'

Membership helps to meet part of the association's funding, but Mr Fox said: 'Public donations are something new that we are trying.'

To discuss how you can help, call Eric Fox on 01603 501338.

Have you got any memories to share with us? Call Derek James on 01603 772420 or email derek.james@archant.co.uk